Raising Wings Like the Eagles

Commentaries on Isaiah 40:30-31
By Tilemann Heshusius and Jerome

Translator’s Preface

I undertook the following in connection with an invitation to preach on Isaiah 40:31 at a graduation service for a Lutheran high school. I like to use such special opportunities to familiarize myself with commentary by our Christian and Lutheran fathers.

In his commentary on Isaiah 40-66 in the NICOT series, John Oswalt writes (p. 74):

The versions [i.e. ancient translations of the Bible] take [the Hebrew word אֵבֶר, pinions or wings, in Isaiah 40:31] as the object [of יַעֲלוּ], but seem to understand the verb [עָלָה] to mean “put forth” in the sense of growing new feathers (see NEB, JPS, NJB). This reading might reflect the ancient tradition that eagles grow new feathers every ten years for a hundred years (see Ps. 103:5).

While Oswalt acknowledges that this idea would nicely parallel “will renew strength” in the first part of the verse and would continue the contrast with vs. 30, he goes on to dismiss the interpretation on semantic grounds: “[T]he verb is nowhere else used in this sense of ‘put forth’ (although it is used of growing plants); and [אֵבֶר] refers to wing feathers, not feathers in general” (p. 74-75). However, with his “although” clause he weakens his first reason, and his second reason assumes that the ancient translators did not also have wing or flight feathers particularly in mind – an unwarranted assumption. (What would be the point of stressing the growth of new feathers, if those new feathers did not give the eagle renewed strength to fly?)

It seems to me unfortunate that Oswalt merely called the view that eagles grow new feathers every ten years an “ancient tradition,” and did not pursue the factuality of the tradition any further. For better or worse, serious translators today want proven science, not ancient tradition, for exegetical cruces such as this one.

The two translations that follow below verify Oswalt’s claim that this interpretation is an ancient tradition – minus perhaps the “for a hundred years” part. Heshusius’ commentary was published in 1617, though the commentary itself must have an earlier date of origin, since Heshusius passed away in 1588. (For more on Heshusius’ life, see here.) Jerome’s commentary dates to 395-400 AD.

As far as the validity of this ancient tradition for interpreting Isaiah 40:31, we must take into consideration at least the following points:

  • King Solomon (ruled 971-932 BC) was one of the wisest men ever to have lived (1 Kings 3:12), and one of the subjects he lectured on was ornithology (1 Kings 4:33). For how many years after his death was his lecture material still available, either in written form or through oral tradition?
  • We do not know which particular species of eagle, if any, Isaiah had in mind. (The Hebrew word נֶשֶׁר has also been translated griffon vulture.)
  • The modern-day bald eagle, for instance, only has an average lifespan of 20 years and its documented molting cycles do not match the every-10-years cycle of this ancient tradition. However, in addition to the previous point, the lifespan and behavior of humans have varied greatly from place to place and throughout the thousands of years of their existence. Why not also with birds and other creatures?
  • Solomon’s father David (1039-969 BC) expressly likened the renewing of one’s youth to what happens to an eagle (Psalm 103:5).

Of course, regardless of which interpretation one prefers – mounting up (Luther), soaring (modern), or growing new flight feathers (ancient) – the point is the same and must not be lost: Leaving the terms and timetable for resolution to God, patiently and willingly suffering for his sake, and trusting in his implicit goodness in Christ Jesus – all of which cannot be done without regular contact with his saving Word – results in ever-increasing and renewed strength for life here on earth and eternal life in heaven. May God always bless our study of his Word to that purpose and end.

Tilemann Heshusius’ Commentary on Isaiah 40:30-31

OVERVIEW OF CHAPTER 40

With this chapter and those that follow to the end of the book, the prophet Isaiah begins sermons that are new in a way. Every one of them is meant to confirm, repeat, and shed light on the promise concerning the coming of the Messiah, both regarding his spiritual and eternal kingdom and regarding his eternal benefits,1 and to strengthen the Church in faith as she awaits salvation from the Messiah. For he explicitly prophesied several times in chapters 3 and 5 that the people of Jerusalem were going to be led away into captivity. And in chapter 39 he plainly announced to King Hezekiah that all the treasures of the king of Judah were going to be carried off to Babylon, and that the sons of the king of Judah were going to be servants in the court of the king of Babylon. And in chapters 24 and 34 he predicted that Jerusalem was going to be so completely destroyed and overthrown at some point that it would never rise again. But if the Mosaic government would be eradicated and the Synagogue rejected from being the people of God, could not the pious begin to doubt and think that all hope of the Messiah’s coming was cut off? That God had changed his will and plan concerning the redemption of the human race and retracted the promise repeated in so many generations?

Therefore, in order that he may remove this doubt and strengthen the pious in faith in the coming Messiah, he preaches with absolute certainty about the Messiah’s coming, expounds his spiritual kingdom in exact detail, describes the distinguished person of the Messiah in many different ways, and comforts the Church with the news that she will be gloriously freed by the Messiah and brought to supreme glory and happiness, and that neither the extremely oppressive Babylonian captivity nor the other manifold misfortunes that will befall that people are going to prevent the coming of the Messiah, who is going to appear towards the end of the government. Yes, he predicts, in fact, that the people of Israel are going to be freed from the Babylonian captivity and that the entire Babylonian empire is going to be destroyed and overthrown by Cyrus the Persian, that Jerusalem is going to be restored and the government preserved until the promised Messiah is presented. Therefore he tells the pious to be of good cheer and to place all their confidence in the promised Messiah, and to expect certain righteousness and salvation from him, and far greater and superior blessings in the New Testament, with the Mosaic government abrogated, than they had ever possessed in the Old.

First he comforts the Church and predicts that the end of the Mosaic government and of the entire Old Testament is drawing near, and he expounds in summary fashion the future benefits of the New Testament, which of course include the free remission of sins.

Then he prophesies about John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, who would cause people to leave the temple and, with sacrifices left behind, would proclaim in the wilderness that the New Testament was about to commence2 and would prepare the way for the Lord Messiah by the preaching of repentance, and would testify with a clear voice that the Messiah was at hand.

He teaches that the Lord himself would be the Messiah, and that the omnipotent God, having been clothed in human flesh, would live among humans and furnish himself for viewing and go about among the cities of Judah. He accuses the entire human race of sin and corruption, in order to warn all people that they need the help of a mediator. He encourages the Church by liberally publishing the good news that the promised Messiah will be presented.3

He describes the Messiah’s spiritual kingdom, that he will not rule with arms and armies the way other kings do, but will gather his Church together like a shepherd and will lead his faithful in a most agreeable and gentle way. He teaches that Christ will rule with divine and heavenly power, and that he will gather a holy church in the world through the ministry of the gospel, the gates of hell notwithstanding. Upon all his enemies, however, he will inflict eternal punishments.

He then preaches in splendid detail about the immense wisdom and infinite power of the Messiah, that he is the creator of heaven and earth, that he has all things in his hand, that he is the source of all wisdom and knowledge, that all the nations are nothing when considered in comparison with the Messiah, the omnipotent God. He teaches that idols and images are nothing, and that those who rely on them are extremely delusional, but that the Messiah is the most powerful of all, as the one who has heaven and earth in his hand, who reduces powerful kings and princes to nothing and makes the wise look like fools.

He teaches that God has not forgotten his Church, nor has he retracted his promise, nor does God grow weary with the passing of time. And so there should be no doubt as to the coming of the Messiah, nor should they abandon the hope of salvation; indeed, they should rather conclude that God will certainly fulfill and accomplish what he has promised, and that he is always supplied with strength and power, but that this kind of judgment will ensue for even the strongest young men, that their strength will let them down so that they fail. But those who wait on the Lord and steadfastly persist in faith will continually regain new powers and will be strengthened through the Holy Spirit. And in this way he instructs the pious to become partakers of Christ’s spiritual kingdom through faith and eager expectation, and to reap the fruit of the Messiah’s coming.

VERSES 27-31

27. Why therefore would you say, O Jacob, and (why) would you, O Israel, speak (this way): “My way has been hidden from the Lord, and my judgment escapes my God”?
28. Do you not know? Have you not heard that God is eternal, and the Lord is the one who created the ends of the earth? He neither wears out from fatigue nor can his intelligence wear out.
29. He (rather) gives strength to the faint, and to him whose powers have surely forsaken him, he supplies vigor in abundance.
30. Grown men are rendered tired and panting, and the choicest young men all fall down.
31. But those who wait for the Lord continually regain new powers; they will raise wings like the eagles. They will run and not wear out; they will walk and not get tired.

Grown men are rendered tired and panting, and the choicest young men all fall down.

He compares the powers of the impious to those of the pious, and he shows how the success is different in each case. The impious vaunt their powers, wisdom, righteousness, free will, courage, and vigor. They expect that they will be able to overcome all troubles and adversities by their own strength. They are confident that they will be able to endure God’s judgment and to overcome death by their own merits and to obtain eternal life. But in fact when troubles and adversities assail, when severe trials attack, when sins awake and they are overwhelmed with a sense of God’s wrath, when death exposes his powers, immediately they grow weary, are unable to hold out, and all fall down.

For human powers cannot endure the judgment of God, and the impious are all destitute of the work and help of the Holy Spirit and therefore must of necessity meet their ruin. Thus Saul met his ruin, Sennacherib fell, Balthasar perished, Goliath fell, the Pharisee in Luke 18 fell. And all the impious, who trust in their own works and powers, sink into despair in the end, destitute of all comfort. Even if they are the choicest young men, who stand out in wisdom, righteousness, vigor, and virtue, who are regarded as most holy, all these fall down too, both among the people of God and among all the heathens.

But those who wait for the Lord continually regain new powers; they will raise wings like the eagles. They will run and not wear out…

That is, the pious, who place their confidence and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, are continually bolstered with comfort, are revived through the Holy Spirit, receive the remission of sins, are flooded with new light, acquire new powers, are renewed and transformed from splendor to splendor [cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18]. They are sustained in all affliction and adversity, are assisted in every hardship, are strengthened in trials. And in the very courtroom of God’s justice and the sensing of the wrath of God, and also in the agony of death, they have the Holy Spirit as an advocate [paracletum], they receive a taste of eternal life, overcome all evils, and obtain eternal life.

He distinguishes the pious from the impious thus: “But those who wait for the Lord,” that is, those in whom true faith in our Lord Jesus Christ shines forth. For the pious have sins just as much as the impious do. And the pious in large part are weak and feeble. Yet they do not fall down, for they receive the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the one difference between them and the impious, that the pious wait for the Lord.

They therefore continually regain new powers. Just as eagles change their feathers every ten years and renew their strength, so the pious will blossom even in old age; they will be lush and green.

“They will run” – namely in the labors of their vocation, in the endeavor to be pious, in great dangers and trials. “…and not wear out” – namely, they will not be broken by any hardship or any adversity, since they are confirmed and strengthened through the Holy Spirit, whom they have received through faith, and in the end, with all evils overcome, they will be led into eternal life. And thus he also indicates the means through which we may apply to ourselves all the Messiah’s benefits, the remission of sins, grace and truth, an eternal reward, renewal, and eternal life.

Jerome’s Commentary on Isaiah 40:30-31

…That is why God gives sadness to those who have an impenitent heart, in order that they may recognize their sins. And since many people take pleasure in the health of the body, and think that youth and childhood last forever, he continues by saying that the flowering age of life quickly fades, and sturdy bodies waste away. But those who have confidence not in their own powers, but in God, and are always awaiting his mercy put on new strength [mutent fortitudinem] and proceed from strength to strength [de virtute in virtutem], and they take on feathers like the eagles, and they hear, “Your youth will be renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:5). They run to the Lord, and do not toil under his desire; they walk, and never grow weak. We have often said that the old age of eagles is revitalized by the exchanging of feathers, and that they are the only ones that gaze at the brightness of the sun and can look at the splendor of its rays with sparkling eyes, and they use this test determine whether their chicks are of the noble kind. So too the saints become children again, and since they have taken on an immortal body, they are not affected by the hardship of mortals, but they are snatched up to meet Christ in the clouds, and according to the Septuagint they do not get hungry at all, because they have the Lord at their side as their food.

Endnotes

1 Latin: & de spirituali & æterno regno ipsius de ipsius æternis beneficiis,… There is either an “&” missing before the second de, or the second de should be cum.

2 I am reading exorsurum (in agreement with testamentum) for exorsurus.

3 I am reading exhibiturus for exhibitus.

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Exegetical Brief: Philippians 2:12b

By Pastor Holger Weiß

Translator’s Preface

This translation is especially unique to the translator in two ways. First, this is the first time he has attempted to translate an article written by someone still living. He met Pastor Weiß at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon during Summer Quarter of 2011. Pastor Weiß is the spiritual shepherd of Emmausgemeinde (Emmaus Church) in Schönfeld by Annaberg-Buchholz, a member congregation of the Evangelisch-Lutherische Freikirche (ELFK; Evangelical Lutheran Free Church) in Germany. He also serves as a professor of New Testament studies at the Lutherisches-Theologishes Seminar (Lutheran Theological Seminary) in Leipzig on the side. In his conversations with Pastor Weiß, it struck the translator that never did the title pastor suit a man better than it did Pastor Weiß.

Secondly, after laboring over the translation and then sending it to Pastor Weiß for approval before publishing it, the translator was amused to learn that Pastor Weiß had originally written it to fulfill an assignment for a class on Philippians during Summer Quarter of 2009. “Just let me know if I should send you the English paper,” he wrote. After all the work and with Pastor Weiß’s blessing, what is presented here is not the original English paper, but an English translation of a German translation by Pastor Weiß of the original English paper by the same.

This article was printed on pages 2-4 of the February 2011 edition of Theologische Handreichung und Information, the theological quarterly of the ELFK, under the title “Schafft, dass ihr selig werdet… Wie ist Philipper 2,12 zu übersetzen und zu verstehen?” (see below for translation).

It is the translator’s prayer that what follows will not only clearly communicate Pastor Weiß’s fine exegesis of Philippians 2:12, but that it will also showcase the unity in the truth that the Holy Spirit, working through Scripture, produces even when the two parties thus united (WELS and ELFK) live thousands of miles away from each other. God grant both these petitions for Jesus’ sake.

Work out your salvation…

How should Philippians 2:12 be translated and understood?

As confessional Lutherans we have been solemnly entrusted with the three solas of the Lutheran Reformation: We are justified by grace alone, through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ alone, and this is communicated to us through Holy Scripture alone (sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura).

Justification by grace alone is the beating heart of the Bible’s teaching. The apostle Paul teaches it in many passages (e.g. Eph 2:8f; Ro 3:23f). Hence it could seem very strange indeed when Paul appeals to his readers, “Work out your salvation…” (Php 2:12). Isn’t he leading us back into Catholicism with its work-righteousness? Or is he suggesting that Jesus’ redeeming work is not sufficient by itself for our redemption? Do we still have to add our own merits (“do” something1) in order to reach heavenly glory one day? Clearly the translation and especially the correct understanding of this apostolic exhortation in the original text is of critical importance.

The original Greek text of this verse reads: τὴν ἑαυτῶν σωτηρίαν κατεργάζεσθε. To translate the verse correctly, we first need to analyze the verb. The predicate κατεργάζεσθε is a present, middle, imperative, second person plural form of κατεργάζομαι. This verb means “to accomplish [something], to carry [something] out.” Paul uses this verb, for example, when he confesses, “For I do not know what I do (ὃ γὰρ κατεργάζομαι οὐ γινώσκω). For I do not do what I want, but what I hate, that I do” (Ro 7:15). The congregation in Corinth had neglected to practice church discipline with a member who had fallen into sexual immorality. To these Christians Paul testifies, “But I, I who am not with you bodily but in spirit, have already decided about the man who has done this, just as if I were with you (ἤδη κέκρικα ὡς παρὼν τὸν οὕτως τοῦτο κατεργασάμενον)” (1 Co 5:3).2 The imperative form expresses a requirement for the readers (second person plural). The readers in this case are primarily the Christians in Philippi. In a wider sense, however, Paul is also addressing all other Christians who read the letter to the Philippians. The present tense expresses a durative aspect. In other words, it does not have to do with a one-time requirement, but with a lasting, continuing one.3 Gordon Fee says about the meaning of κατεργάζομαι:

Its basic sense is to “accomplish” something, not in the sense of “fulfillment,” but of “carrying out”4 a matter… Under no circumstances can it be stretched to mean “work at,” as though salvation were something that needed our work (as in good works) in order for it to be accomplished.5

That which should be carried out is expressed by the accusative object. The noun σωτηρία is occasionally used in the New Testament for preservation in danger or deliverance from deadly peril. So Paul, for example, appeals to his traveling companions in the ship, “Therefore I urge you to eat something, for this will serve to preserve you (τοῦτο γὰρ πρὸς τῆς ὑμετέρας σωτηρίας ὑπάρχει)” (Ac 27:34). But it predominantly refers to our eternal salvation and can be joined with various verbs. Hebrews 1:14, for example, says about the angels: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (κληρονομεῖν σωτηρίαν)?” The accusative object is modified by a genitive, masculine, plural pronoun, ἑαυτῶν. Exegetes variously interpret it as reflexive or possessive. Both are grammatically possible. Gordon Fee, however, makes it clear that, when the pronoun should be understood reflexively, it usually arises from an inherent contrast in the sentence:

While the reflexive at times does stress what belongs especially to the subject of a sentence (cf. e.g., [Php 2:]3-4 above), that is usually made clear by some inherent contrast in the sentence. In other cases it functions very close to a normal possessive, except that by use of the reflexive it slightly intensifies the possessive as being one’s own.6

Hence one could render the exhortation from Philippians 2:12 as, “Work out your salvation” – not in the sense of achievement or completion, but in the sense of the “carrying out [Durchführung]” of salvation.

How are we to understand this apostolic exhortation to work out or carry out our salvation? We must first note that Paul begins the entire statement in Philippians 2:12 with the conjunction “so” or “therefore” (ὥστε), which connects the exhortation with the section that precedes. That entire section, Philippians 2:5-11, forms the essential basis for the requirement in Philippians 2:12. In it Paul praises our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who humbled himself and became obedient to death. Through his obedience Jesus has won our eternal salvation, which God gives us as a gift of his grace through faith in Jesus Christ. “Therefore,” because Jesus has humbled himself and become obedient in order to redeem us, Paul now urges us to “carry out” this salvation.

We must also note that the exhortation from Philippians 2:12 is inserted into an even greater context. In Philippians 1:27—2:30, Paul is encouraging his readers to live in a manner worthy of the gospel about Christ.

And finally, we should not overlook the fact that the apostolic exhortation in Philippians 2:12 follows two prepositional phrases in the dative which refer to the Philippians’ obedience. Paul here uses the verb ὑπακούω, which means “to listen to” in the sense of “obey, follow.”7

All these observations make it clear that the apostolic exhortation from Philippians 2:12 does not belong in the realm of justification, but in the realm of sanctification, which flows from justification. In this passage Paul is not addressing how people are saved. His concern is how saved people “live out” the salvation that God has given them solely out of his grace through faith in Christ, that is, how their salvation is realized in everyday life.8

Paul makes this exhortation as a result of the serious dangers that threaten our faith on a daily basis. He exhorts us as those who are already on the path to heaven, but still have to conduct our lives as Christians in this world. We face temptations from the devil, the unbelieving world, and our own sinful flesh. False teachers are spreading in our midst and have already become a serious spiritual challenge [Anfechtung] for many Christians. Satan wants to lead us astray so that we turn our backs on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As believers we must be vigilant so that we do not lose the eternal salvation that God has given to us through baptism out of his grace. We have this salvation only through faith in our redeemer Jesus Christ. If we fall away from the faith and die as unbelievers, we will suffer the punishment for our sins in hell for all eternity. Lenski’s explanation of σωτηρίαν in Philippians 2:12 is worth noting:

The saving effected by God at the time of our conversion does not place us into the salvation of heaven at one stroke; it makes us σεσῳσμένοι, “those who have been saved” (Eph 2:5). But until we attain the safety of heaven we must be kept safe in this dangerous world; the great salvation that is now ours must be kept ours, our heart’s hold upon it must be made ever stronger.9

We certainly cannot manage this with our own strength. So just as the Holy Spirit alone can bring us to faith through the means of grace, so also only the Holy Spirit can keep us in the faith through Word and sacrament. Hence Lenski rightly explains:

Paul refers to the constant, faithful use of Word and Sacrament (“life’s word,” v. 16). These means of grace renew and increase our hold on salvation, for the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16). This use of the means is the vital part of the working.10

Thus to “work out” or “carry out” one’s salvation means, first of all, that one makes regular use of the means of grace. Through them the Holy Spirit strengthens our faith and enables us to lead a way of life worthy of the gospel. Strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit we will then, in “fear and trembling,” do our level best not to do anything which God forbids or to omit anything which God commands, since we jeopardize our salvation through such misbehavior. By conducting ourselves in this way, we follow Paul’s exhortation and live out the salvation that God has given to us by grace alone through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Appendix

In connection with this matter, the reader might be interested in knowing how the newer German Bible translations render this passage (Php 2:12b). Here is a brief sampling:

  • The way the Gute-Nachricht-Bibel (GNB; “Good News Bible”) renders this phrase appears to be unsuitable: “Work on yourselves with fear and trembling, so that you are saved.” It makes the requirement to work on oneself a prerequisite for salvation. Yet Holy Scripture plainly says in many passages that we do not actively cooperate in our salvation, but receive our redemption by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • The Hoffnung für alle (Hfa; “Hope for all”) seems much better here: “You are saved, and this should show itself in your life. Therefore also live now in reverence for God and in complete devotion to him.” Here it is first established as a fact that we are already saved. From this then proceeds the encouragement to live in reverence for God and in complete devotion to him.
  • On the other hand, the Neues-Leben-Bibel (NL; “New Life Bible”) shows itself even more removed from the original text: “Now, in my absence, you must see to it even more that God’s love is on display in your life. Therefore obey God with full respect and reverence.” Here it is certainly mentioned that God’s love should be on display in our lives. The reference to salvation is completely cut out though, so that it is not at all clear why we should obey God with full respect and reverence.
  • The Neue Genfer Übersetzung (NGÜ; “New Geneva Translation”) seems quite acceptable at first glance: “So, as you have always been obedient to God up till now, you should also continue to submit yourselves to him (Christ) with respect and deep reverence and to do everything in your power so that your salvation works itself out in your life fully and completely.” The note added to this translation, however, is highly problematic: “Literally: ‘So, as you have always been obedient, you should complete your salvation with fear and trembling.’ ” What is well rendered in the actual translation – that salvation should work itself out in life – is completely ruined by this note. For the note says that the Christian should “complete” his salvation. But if this is true, then salvation would be at least partially an achievement of man that he still has to produce.
  • The same goes for the new Basis-Bibel (“Basic Bible”) from Stuttgart: “Your salvation is at stake. Put all you have into it—even if you are overcome with fear and trembling in the process.” Here too the impression is given that man should work on his salvation, and that he should do so full of anxiety, with “fear and trembling.”
  • The Neue evangelistische Übersetzung (NeÜ; “New Evangelist’s Translation”) by K. Vanheiden appears to be more useful: “Now, in my absence, you must see to it even more that you work hard with all reverence and conscientiousness so that your salvation works itself out.” He makes clear that Philippians 2:12b has to do with salvation working itself out in the Christian’s life and not with prerequisites which people have to fulfill themselves in order to be redeemed.

Literature

  • Bauer, Walter. Griechisch-deutsches Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der frühchristlichen Literatur, 6th ed. Ed. Kurt und Barbara Aland. Berlin und New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1988.
  • Hoffmann, Ernst G. and Heinrich von Siebenthal. Griechische Grammatik zum Neuen Testament, 2nd ed. Riehen/Basel: Immanuel-Verlag, 1990.
  • Fee, Gordon D. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians in The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Ed. Ned B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. Fee. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995.
  • Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Galatians, to the Ephesians and to the Philippians. Columbus, OH: Wartburg Press, 1946.

Footnotes

1 Luther translated the passage under discussion: “Schafft, daß ihr selig werdet” (the German title of this article), literally, “Make [it] so that you are saved,” or more freely, “Do what needs to be done so that you are saved.” It is this meaning of schaffen, make or do, that Pastor Weiss is working with in this parenthetical comment.

2 Walter Bauer, Griechisch-deutsches Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der frühchristlichen Literatur, 6th ed., ed. Kurt und Barbara Aland, (Berlin und New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1988), p. 857.

3 Ernst G. Hoffmann und Heinrich von Siebenthal, Griechische Grammatik zum Neuen Testament, 2nd ed. (Riehen/Basel: Immanuel-Verlag, 1990), §194a.

4 Pastor Weiss translated this for his German readers as durchführen. He refers back to this word a little later when talking about how to translate the passage. The German word has been included in brackets there to make this connection clear.

5 Gordon D. Fee, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians in The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Ned B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. Fee (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995), p. 234.

6 Fee, op. cit., 234.

7 Bauer, op. cit., 1668.

8 Fee, op. cit., 235.

9 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Galatians, to the Ephesians and to the Philippians (Columbus, OH: Wartburg Press, 1946), p. 798.

10 Ibid., 798f.